July 17, 2016

Auto Attendants

Auto Attendant (AA) Service:

automated attendantsAuto Attendants are like any other voice recording for telephony use. We bring a professional voice talent into the studio, record a list of prompts, edit, mix and deliver. We produce the actual audio content that get’s uploaded into the phone system. We do not manage phone systems, upload the audio content, or interface with any remotely accessible dashboards. We are a recording studio, we produce voiceovers and music for commercial use.

Auto Attendants are usually smaller projects then the IVR sessions. Auto Attendants may consist of up to about 50 prompts. The typical AA count though is usually under 10. The requests we receive are normally just for directories or after hours prompts. Below I’ll list the blurb from the Wiki for Auto Attendants so you can get caught up on the tech talk.

Auto Attendants are like little automated characters that answer your phone calls and provide a snippet of information to a caller. They are not interactive like the IVR recordings. The character portrayed in the image to the left is a real life auto attendant :^)

From The Wiki:

In telephony, an automated attendant (also auto attendant, auto-attendant, autoattendant or AA, or virtual receptionist) allows callers to be automatically transferred to an extension without the intervention of an operator/receptionist). Many AAs will also offer a simple menu system (“for sales, press 1, for service, press 2,” etc.). An auto attendant may also allow a caller to reach a live operator by dialing a number, usually “0”. Typically the auto attendant is included in a business’s phone system such as a PBX, but some services allow businesses to use an AA without such a system. Modern AA services (which now overlap with more complicated interactive voice response or IVR systems) can route calls to mobile phones, VoIP virtual phones, other AAs/IVRs, or other locations using traditional land-line phones.

Feature Description

Telephone callers will recognize an automated attendant system as one that greets calls incoming to an organization with a recorded greeting of the form, “Thank you for calling …. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it any time during this message.” Callers who have a touch tone (DTMF) phone can dial an extension number or, in most cases, wait for operator (“attendant”) assistance. Since the telephone network does not transmit the DC signals from rotary dial telephones (except for audible clicks), callers who have rotary dial phones have to wait for assistance.

On a purely technical level it could be argued that an automated attendant is a very simple kind of IVR, however in the telecom industry the terms IVR and Auto Attendant are generally considered distinct. An Automated Attendant serves a very specific purpose (replace live operator and route calls), whereas an IVR can perform all sorts of functions (telephone banking, account inquiries, etc.).

An AA will often include a directory which will allow a caller to dial by name in order to find user on a system. There is no standard format to these directories, and they can use combinations of first name, last name, or both.

The following lists common routing steps that are components of an automated attendant (any other routing steps would probably be more suitable to an IVR):

Transfer to Extension
Transfer to Voicemail
Play Message (i.e., “our address is …”)
Go To a Sub Menu
Repeat Choices
In addition, an Automated Attendant would be expected to have values for the following

‘0’ – where to go when the caller dials ‘0’
Timeout – what to do if the caller does nothing (usually go to the same place as ‘0’)
Default mailbox – where to send calls if ‘0’ is not answered (or is not pointing to a live person)


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